The seven suspected Islamic militants arrested in the Northern Region have appeared before an Accra circuit court.
They are Issah Suale, mason; Mahama Saani Muftawu, trader; Iddrisu Ibrahim, teacher (at large); Mohammed Alhassan, nurse and Alhassan Abdul-Dayan, teacher trainee, Valley View University.
The rest are Abdulai Ibrahim Wumpini; Umar Ibrahim Alhassan – both auto mechanics and Andani Mohammed Toufiq, teacher.
Suale, Muftawu and Ibrahim are standing trial for possessing firearms and unlawful military training exercise while the rest have been charged for abetting the three.
They were arrested on December 24, last year at Dzantong-Daboise, near Salaga in the Northern Region.
Appearing before a court presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, the accused persons, who looked manhandled and dressed in jalabiya, variously denied the offence.
The accused persons were remanded into police custody until January 19, 2016, after the trial judge had rejected the application for bail by Alex Mantey Osei, their lawyer.
He said the facts by the prosecution did not support the charges preferred against his clients and that there was no way they could interfere with police investigations.
Mr. Osei said the police had thrown the 48-hour rule to the dogs and had failed to arraign the accused person before court until yesterday.
He stated that his clients were assaulted before the police took their caution statements, insisting that the accused persons were “slapped and electrocuted.”
The lawyer urged the judge not to look at their ‘wretched nature and the flamboyant charges’ and grant the bail.
Prosecuting, DSP Aidan Dery said all the accused persons, except Wumpini, are members of Tabligh Brothers – an international mobile preachers’ wing of Sunni Muslims.
He said on December 24, Suale, Muftawu and Ibrahim arrived at Dzantong-Daboise on two motorbikes with a pack tied to one of the motorbikes.
DSP Dery stated that the youth in the community suspected them to be sakawa ritual murderers looking for a place to burry the corpse of a murdered person.
He said as a result, the youth arrested Suale and Muftawu while Ibrahim escaped, adding that two AK 47 assault rifles were found to be the content of the package.
The prosecutor said soon after the other accused persons surfaced to rescue those arrested by the youth.
The police officer said during a search 16 spent AK 47 ammunition shells were found concealed in a big bag in the room of Alhassan while Mohammed also had a Toshiba laptop computer containing videos and documentaries of Islamic militant activities.
Suale, Muftawu and Ibrahim told the police that they went to the village to practise how to fire the weapons.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson